Provide equal support for AP classes in Portland Public Schools

Provide equal support for AP classes in Portland Public Schools

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AP Students in Portland Public Schools started this petition to Portland Public Schools

The coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to live differently, and when it was decided that school was going to start virtually this fall, hard choices would have to be made. While distance learning is of course not going to be optimal for anyone, it's important to give students the greatest opportunity to succeed while following appropriate regulations. That said, Portland Public Schools' schedule choices are abysmal and create massive inequalities in our education system that have been and will remain unaddressed unless something changes.

PPS decided to use a 4 class semester for this high school year, which is designed specifically for virtual school. This schedule choice has students only taking 4 classes each semester, but receiving a full credit and all the material for the class in that semester, the idea being that fewer subjects with about the same amount of work will help students cope with distance learning. They would then take completely different classes the next semester. When (If?) students return to a physical school, this schedule will not change. 

There is one major problem with this schedule choice: AP classes. These are classes that are faster paced and cover more in-depth material than normal classes, and students have the option to take the AP test in May, which with the right scores can allow them to get college credit, saving them time and money in college and even playing a role in college admissions.

Students who have AP classes under PPS can have them in either semester, both cases causing problems. For those in the first semester, they will have up to the end of the semester for classtime to study, and then not have the class for the 3 months up until the test date, denying students essential in-class preparation. For those in the second semester, it's even worse, with students only having the 3 months from the beginning of the second semester to the test day to study. 

To put that in perspective, PPS is currently asking me to learn AP Calculus, Statistics, and Government in 3 months, while not having class time for AP Chemistry or Literature during that time. While maybe doable for some people, this is ridiculous and absolutely not what I signed up for. 

It's not like PPS was unaware of this problem either. In July, I testified at a school board meeting about this same issue, but nothing seems to have happened. I've emailed them, nothing. An online 8 class semester wasn't a crazy new idea for them either. Lincoln and Cleveland high schools, also in PPS, have both been granted the normal 8 class semester because of their IB classes, which conveniently removes all the problems with AP classes. Because of their schedule, the students who go to these schools will be given more resources and opportunity to prepare for the AP tests than everyone else in the district, and the students under the 4 class semester will be worse off not only compared to Lincoln and Cleveland but to every other student in the nation who isn't subject to this schedule. 

Intentionally or not, PPS is disadvantaging massive groups of students based on where they go to school, they haven't made any effort to fix it, no one else is calling them out on it, so here we have this petition. I will also be filing a formal complaint with this, in hopes of breaking through to some level of management that can work to resolve these issues.

I hope you will join me in telling Portland Public Schools that students will not tolerate this injustice and demand action, because we all deserve an equal shot at success. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!